The minimal art deco interior of The Surrey hotel is a masterpiece; muted grey and beige blends contrasted by distinct black detailing. Comfortable, homely and perched on the edge of iconic Central Park, the hotel is a short walk from shopping haven Fifth Avenue and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The hotel’s facilities are humble consisting of just a small lounge, intimate Bar Pleiades and the Boulud Café. The latter is from Michelin star restaurateur, Daniel Boulud, and serves modern French fare using locally sourced ingredients. The menu is divided into Boulud’s four culinary muses: “la tradition” (classic French cuisine); “la saison” (Seasonal delicacies); “le potager” (the vegetable garden); and “le voyage” (the flavours of world cuisines). “La tradition” includes traditional dishes such as seared foie gras, almond beignets, seckle pear and tonka bean, while ever-changing “La Saison” menu has in the past presented seasonal dishes such as New Zealand venison loin & civet celery batons with roasted chestnuts, huckleberries, bacon and sauce au poivre. “La Potager” is about the vegetable heavy dishes like butternut squash fettuccine with chanterelle mushrooms, pumpkin seed pesto and pecorino romano, while “La voyage” includes dishes inspired by cuisines from faraway lands such as Korean Glazed Pork Belly. The wine list includes great American wines, including a Bethe Heights Pinot Gris from Oregon, as well as fine wines from further afield, including a Romanée-Conti “La Tâche.”
20 E 76th Street, New York, NY 10021; +1 212 288 3700; www.thesurrey.com
Crosby Street Hotel
One of New York’s finest boutique hotels, Crosby Street Hotel, comes from husband and wife hoteliers and founders of Firmdale Hotels, Tim and Kit Kemp, who have a string of successful award-winning hotels in Central London. Following in the fashion of its British counterparts – The Soho Hotel, Charlotte Street Hotel, and Dorset Square Hotel to name but a few – Crosby Street Hotel is a eclectic mix of soft furnishings, complementing colours and a clever combination of modern and antique furniture.
The hotel boasts a screening room and film club, which shows a different film every Sunday and can also be hired out for private use for a minimum of 20 people, with the inclusion of drinks, canapés and popcorn. Priding themselves on their “Green” philosophy, Crosby Street Hotel, is certified gold LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – by the US Green Building Council (one of the first hotels in New York to receive the accolade) even growing their own crops and keeping their own chickens on the rooftop garden. The Crosby Bar and Terrace uses the homegrown crops for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The dinner menu is broad with dishes such as steak tartare served with pickled mustard seeds, charred green garlic and medjool dates; short rib ragu served on cavatelli with black pepper ricotta; and braised beef tacos with watercress, and toasted pumpkin seeds. The cocktail menu has some of the classic cocktails served at the London hotels including the Raspberry and Lychee Bellini signature cocktail from the Haymarket Hotel. Living up to the rest of the hotel is the wine list, including fine bottles such as Pol Rogers Sir Winston Churchill 1999; Cristal Brut 2004; a magnum of Perrier-Jouet NV; Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 1010; and a Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos 2004. The bar also serves Ruinart Afternoon Tea which include all the classics with a glass of Ruinart.
70 Crosby Street, Manhattan, New York 10012; +1 212 226 6400; www.firmdalehotels.com
The Bowery House
Formerly The Prince Hotel in 1927, this building was later used as a temporary lodging space for soldiers returning home from World War II, which meant the space was utilised beyond comfort to fit as many soldiers as possible. The hotel is located in the once titled neighbourhood, ‘Skid Row’ – a dilapidated area where ‘Bowery Bums’ such as alcoholics, drug users, and prostitutes ruled. Luckily, but in recent years the area has transformed into the restaurant and bar hub of the city. The hoteliers decided to restore, rather than redo, the interior of the 1940s remodel to provide guests with a historically stimulating stay. An affordable restaurant, but with a stylish edge that puts it on to the list, with Ralph Lauren towels and Egyptian cotton bed sheets, this is affordable sleeping at its best. The restaurant below isn’t owned by the hotel, but it shares the same building, and is as convenient as they come.
Pearl & Ash is the restaurants name and small sharing plates are their game. Think Diver Scallop Ceviche with lime, tomatillo and corn nuts; Cod with coconut, thai basil, and lemongrass; and Lamb Belly served with Carrots, Garbanzo Beans, and Black Garlic. Named New York’s “most exciting place to drink wine” by the New York Times last May, the wine list certainly shows us why. A partner in Pearl & Ash is former wine director at now closed restaurant, Gilt, Patrick Cappiello. The wine list is 32 pages long, and showcases great wines such as a 1979 half bottle of Lafite Rothschild, a 1979 half bottle of Petrus, and a 1955 Palmer.
220 Bowery, Manhattan, NY 10012, +1 212 837 2373; www.theboweryhouse.com
The James Hotel NYC
Creativity, design and food are at the core of The James Hotel NYC. The Manhattan-based hotel is in the trendy SoHo neighbourhood, and the interior was designed by ODA (Office for Design and Architecture) as part of a collaborative project with Perkins Eastman – the team behind massive projects such as the Lekhwiya Sports Complex in Doha – and Thomas Schlesser – a ‘Design Bureaux’ behind interiors such as Bar Boulud in NYC and the Samsung World Headquarters in Seoul, Korea.
The hotel’s restaurant, David Burke Kitchen, is run by the Burke and serves locally sourced American cuisine. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner the eatery makes dishes such as maple bacon dates with peanut butter, tuna tartare tacos with whipped avocado and Tobiko caviar, and lobster soup with lobster dumplings, coconut fennel crème and watercress. For relaxation guests can head tothe bar JIMMY which is all around The James Hotel‘s spectacular roof top pool.
27 Grand Street, New York City, NY 10013, +1 888 526 3778; www.jameshotels.com
The Peninsula New York
The imposing gothic build on 5th Avenue is home to one of New York’s best known hotels, The Peninsula. Elegant, stately and classically New York, this is a hotel where the service is on par with the aesthetic grandeur. Each suite is airy, modern and embellished with stylish homely features and, in one suite, even a grand piano.
There are four different dining and drinking options within the hotel; the new Clement restaurant and bar area at the hotel is modern and tasteful. The food is conceived by chef de cuisine, Brandon Kida, and is contemporary American with international twists, think lobster with kabocha squash, chanterelle mushroom and beurre fondue, or heirloom beets with farmhouse yoghurt, beet gazpacho and lemon vinaigrette. The restaurant has also launched the first of their inaugural ‘Clement Winemaker Dinner Series’ where guests are invited to dine with carefully chosen wines from The Hess Collection Winery in Napa Valley. Past pairings include Bay scallops with lardon and 2012 Hess Shirtail Creek.
The adjoining bar at Clement serves cocktails and a great selection of wines and Champagnes by the glass, along with light American-Asian plates. Guests can also relax in the Salon de Ning rooftop bar and terrace which boasts breathtaking views of the city skyline, or in the batman-inspired, Gotham Lounge, where guests can enjoy afternoon tea and all-day dining.
700 5th Avenue, New York, NY10019; +1 212 956 2888; www.peninsula.com
The London NYC
Recently chosen as the ‘preferred hotel choice’ for the international fashion elite by Mercedez Benz Fashion Week, The London NYC, is one of New York’s most exclusive and chic hotels. Not only is it in the epicentre of Midtown Manhattan – with nearby sites including Fifth Avenue, Broadway, Carnegie Hall and Central Park – it’s also home to Gordon Ramsey’s eponymous restaurant, his stylish London bar, and his more informal eatery, Maze by Gordon Ramsey. Since losing two Michelin stars, Gordon Ramsey at the London, has appointed Michael Wurster – who has worked at Alain Ducassee’s New York restaurant and The French Laundry in Napa Valley – as the new chef de cuisine. Constructing artistic plates like sablefish with crispy wild rice, mushroom fricassee and parsley smoked chicken jus, Wurster looks set to turn around the restaurant’s recent misfortune. The wine list is impressive showing bottles like the 2008 Hirsch ‘Gaisberg’ Riesling; 2004 Roda I Reserva; 1997 Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta; 2005 Chimney Rock; and a 2001 Yquem.
151 W 54th Street, New York, NY 10105; +1 212 307 5000; www.thelondonnyc.com
Not far from the Ground Zero World Trade Centre memorials, the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Battery Park sits on the waterfront at the bottom tip of Manhattan and offers unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty. The downtown location means it is only a short stroll to foodie neighbourhoods China Town, Little Italy, Nolita and Noho. But if wandering around on an empty stomach doesn’t appeal, the hotel’s internal eatery 2WEST serves American grub all-day. We recommend ordering the almond milk pancakes with caramelized banana, roasted almonds and vanilla bean syrup for breakfast, and for lunch try the Brooklyn Larger French Onion Soup . Find yourself craving more indulgent American food, sit down to a bowl of the Manhattan Clam Chowder with smoked bacon and chive crème fraîche and follow it with a Sterling Silver Prime New York sirloin with shoestring truffle fries and sauce Béarnaise. One more tip: consume this in stretchy trousers.
Wines by the glass include a NV Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, whilst Port by the glass includes a 40 year Taylor Fladgate Tawny. There is a great selection of whiskey’s from a Bourbon Woodford Reserve to a J.W. Blue.
2 West Street, New York, NY 10004; +1 212 344 0800; www.ritzcarlton.com